To live knowing you cannot visit where you are originally from is a very difficult life. To live rejecting there from where you originally are is a very difficult life. When we think of nature, we think of all that is green or blue. What about that which is yellow, orange and brown? What about the desert? Isn’t it part of nature too?
A small village that is practically a desert is where my family has lived most of its life. The province is known for its revolutionaries. Yet, when I was born, the revolution was long gone and none of its history was televised. I grew up to know these familiar faces who lived there. This village has become a destination for weddings and funerals. My grandparents’ house and a garden were there on an empty yellow land. The only green was that of their fig trees and grape vines.
These familiar faces are all dying. Their death as harsh as the desert’s thorns. My heart sank at each of their deaths. My grandpa’s death; a blurry memory of my grandmother crying and sobbing in the corner of their house. My young uncle’s death, a cold winter and a colder empty house. My mom’s cousin’s death, one during a pandemic, never got to be properly mourned. Another of her young cousins dies today, a mysterious death long overdue. They all left behind children. Ones who remain lost struggling to find the meaning of death in this small village of Ar Rabba.
As I get the urge to write these words, I play Dar ya Dar by Wadi Al Safi. The people of our countries here in the Middle East have lived way too many tragedies. My sister today exclaimed “it is easier for them to feel sadness than happiness”. I pondered what she just said. Etel Adnan wrote in one of her letters from Beirut that here they love death because they love that which is sacred. My lover sitting next to me in the car as I drove in the busy streets of Downtown Amman on a Ramadan night crying over the loss of that which he once called a home. If it is not the loss of home, that physical place we once built our houses in… it is the loss of our people who remind us of home. We all left that village in pursuit of… I don’t think we know what are we looking for. We have left home. We have left the people. Now, the people are leaving us and we are left with no home and no people.